Lenalidomide’s Outlook as Future Alzheimer DMT: Marwan Sabbagh, MD

April 1, 2021
Marwan Sabbagh, MD

SAP Partner | <b>The Cleveland Clinic Foundation</b>

The director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and neurologist at Cleveland Clinic discussed whether lenalidomide, a repurposed cancer drug, has promise as an Alzheimer disease DMT.

"If I could show any mechanism, a decent mechanism of action on a clinical signal, the companies that own this drug will probably take keen interest in it.”

In January, Cleveland Clinic announced it had received 5-year grants from the National Institute of Aging (NIA) and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) to propel a study examining FDA-approved cancer drug lenalidomide in Alzheimer disease (AD). Led by Marwan Sabbagh, MD, and Boris Decourt, PhD, the dual study design will identify whether the drug can reduce inflammation and other disease-related neuropathological features, as well as improve cognition in those living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Sabbagh, director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and neurologist at Cleveland Clinic, noted that he has no proprietary stake in lenalidomide, but that if the drug is successful, industry leaders will swoon. Enthusiasm to study lenalidomide stems from the strategy to target multiple AD neuropathologies at once, a relatively new approach in AD drug development.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Sabbagh discussed the idea of whether repurposed drugs need more observation in the AD space, and the potential impact lenalidomide could have if proven successful.